Yeah, I know, I am slow and I am late, but it’s been a busy few months. And when I am busy with work and other matters, this blog certainly gets push away. Sorry for that, I will try harder this year. So I have had 2 entries part written for a while now, here’s the second, from the close of last summer…..
An indian summer has come and gone, and autumn here in Øyer is certainly apparent, grey skies, cool days and wet times. This far north, the leaves turn early, it’s a scene that it’s all shutting up for Winter, every day something changes, a slow orderly turning off of the summer fire. Since the image above taken in late August in Vesterålen, whilst whale watching, much has happened. But lets get to the just before the main event in November in this post.
In September, Satu & I headed to the house in Slovenia, it’s always great there, a prefect retreat. We went on a little road trip, as Satu was getting to the point of being a little too uncomfortable with the growing bump. Still we got to paddle on Soča a bunch, this year I was the porter carrying the boats out, and we enjoyed, the brilliance of this great river. We made a short road trip to Bled to cycle around the lake, to Bohinj for lake swimming and Piran to enjoy the sea. It was hot in Piran, a little too much for the wife, I needed to stand guard whilst she cooled off on the sea! What was really apparent it that Slovenia is a small just diverse country, and above all quite amazingly beautiful, not just the Soča Valley. Soon our road trip was over, and it was close to the no-flying time for Satu. I drop her off at Munich and I headed to KanuMesse, the annual paddlesports show.
This year’s event, had a bunch of new products that I have had a hand in developing, these included the new Spark FreeRide suit from Palm and the Mamba from Dagger. It’s always great to see the new products in their final version at the show, although for both I had been testing them for some time. The Spark Suit, I got the idea at the last KanuMesse, to have a light yet all around suit for paddling, but not a complete stiff dry suit with all the armour and the additional re-enforcements. Barney the designer at Palm came up with a great prototype, and for most of 2011 I had been testing away in Slovenia, Italy & Norway. Check out the image above taken by Benji deep in the Susna Canyon. Also Mark the designer at Dagger had been working on the medium Mamba for a while, and in early Spring I had been charging the first large boat, see Gene17’s wallpaper for that model, this was a great fast charger, although a little small. So for the northern Norway road trip had the second version, which was bigger all around, but in enlarging it, something of the great qualities of first version was lost. White water kayak design is never easy, a small adjustment here and there, makes a huge difference between success and not quite there. I was happy a third version was made, off the first version platform to ensure the final boat is good. I have had the Mamba 8.6 for a month now, and I like it a lot, very much my sole boat for the river these days. Great work guys, and thank you.
After KanuMesse, Dave Carroll & Kim Sickerman, came to Slovenia, for some end of season paddling, happy days, as the cool evenings started to draw in. We got involved in the filming of the white water safety & rescue production, which I will release a kick-starter crowd funding campaign on at some point. Although it’s a real question of how to distribute it, DVD’s are a no, so to BluRay, all are too easy to copy, so I must find a solution, or perhaps direct sponsorship of chapters, either way Genotype 2 DVD cost £40,000 to make in terms of editing time and post-produciton, much of which has not been recovered. Specialist productions are difficult to justify at present.
Soon it was time to head to Norway for the main event of 2011, here is a shot from our last hiking trip on Øyerfjell before, 8th November, when my life, out lives changed. Until next time, here’s an interview I did for Unsponsored the paddler’s website and the ad Gene17 ran in the new 3rd edition of the South Alps Guide Book. An excellent new addition, with the proof reading for Piemonte by myself. It’s great to see that this area, which has become so so popular with paddler’s get the coverage in the english medium, just in time for this year’s Valsesia River Festival. Which I hope will be a popular event for Valsesia is one of a few spots acorss the Alps with snow this year.
Until the next post, life all change, I bid you farewell.